Political violence in far-right memory: Fratelli d’Italia’s remembrance of the Primavalle arson

Maeve Marchese, Pier Domenico Tortola*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

The relationship between the (populist) far right and the past is the subject of increasing scholarly interest. The deployment, reassessment and at times manipulation of historical memory, in particular, is an important factor in the politics and mainstreaming of the European far right. The latter has a lot to gain from any shifts in collective memory placing nations' dark and shameful past in a more benevolent light. At the same time, far-right actors play an active role in such shifts, by routinely (ab)using the memory of the past for electoral gain. This article contributes to the research agenda on the memory politics of the far right by examining how Fratelli d'Italia – Italy's foremost far-right party – remembers and narrates the ‘years of lead’, a tumultuous and hotly contested chapter in the country's political history. More precisely, our analysis zooms in on the powerful trope of ‘secular martyrdom’ attached to the memory of that period, and looks at how this idea is mobilised by Fratelli d'Italia via the examination of a particularly tragic episode of the years of lead, namely, the 1973 Primavalle arson.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere9
JournalContemporary European Politics
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Far-right
  • Fratelli d'Italia
  • Memory
  • Years of lead

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